Sunday, 8 October 2017

In the sticks

A hot wind blew in from the north
Dust whirlies athwart in the paddocks
As the stock search for meagre shade
It was hotter than yesterday

Molly attended to the chooks
My old Akubra on her head
She's a cute miss growing up fast
Have to keep watch on that farm hand

Hell, it's like a cauldron today
Sky clear, not a bird to be seen
Sometimes I hate being out here
Enduring this living on the edge

Sue said it was Australia Day
Or was that yesterday, dunno
Not much of a patriot here
As I'm fighting my own battles

All that seems petty to us here
Molly comes running over now
"One of the chooks has gone broody
Let's hope the rooster's done his job"

I touch her face trying not to laugh
"Shall I go and tell Mum?" she asks
"Yes, she will know what to do now"
There's no place like home in the sticks

Image 1 found at 
Image 2 found at 

Australian slang idioms
Dust whirlies - Whirling dust from dry topsoil
Paddocks      - Fields
Akubra          - Country man's hat
Dunno           - Don't know
Chooks         - Chicken
Broody          - Hen ready to brood eggs
Sticks            - Distant countryside (miles from town)


  1. the words whirlied into a lovely narrative - all seem's right with the farmyard world but there is a niggle that leaves the reader wondering...
    "Not much of a patriot here
    As I'm fighting my own battles"

    1. What I intended to imply was that many miles from town, work on the farm carries on regardless of public holidays with stock to feed, fences to repair and crops to gather. Rest assured nothing else is implied as he is merely berating himself that he missed it.

  2. I loved this, reminded me of my attachment to the Australian army back in 1988, I still have an Akubra knocking around somewhere! Oh and some great memories.

  3. This is beautifully poignant, Robin.

  4. Lovely introduction to some aussie slang!

  5. Good insight into a way of life.

  6. I love that in the end everything makes sense. And it makes sense in a lovely way.

  7. Down to earth - and a slice of real life 'in the sticks'

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  9. I love the picture you've paint of Australian farm life. Thanks for defining unfamiliar terms for some of your readers.

  10. The only term i didn't understand was akubra. I had a good notion of all the others. That was a fun read for me. Happy Sunday Robin


  11. Oh I do love the image of farm life. Not just the hard life but also the fine moment... Hope there will be chicks.

  12. You took us right there into the scene. I could almost feel the dust and heat. Lovely, Robin.

  13. What a great capture of farm life everywhere in the "dog days" of Summer. I've no doubt the rooster has something to crow about!

  14. I feel like I took a little trip to a special part of Australia. Thanks for this. Enjoyed reading.

  15. The accompanying photo reminds me so much of my home in the islands. How chickens were everywhere and how i would catch a chick and try to raise it as a pet. Great write!

  16. There is a part of me that wants to be broody in this same way--I am a home body and though I have thought about raising chickens, have never done it--life does go on--

  17. I think we all fight our own battles in our everyday life.

  18. This is wonderfully drawn ... the details ... the conversational tone ... the little insights dropped so casually. Awesome writing!

  19. "There's no place like home in the sticks" says it all Love the safe heaven of home Beautiful write

  20. I guess some of the "chicken talk" went over my head, but I got it in the end! I live in the sticks too.

  21. For me, very reminiscent. (I grew up in a small town but spent a fair bit of time in the country with relatives.)

  22. It's a hard life, sure, but at least the living keeps going on.

    Beautifully done capture.